Apr 1, 2023·edited Apr 1, 2023

Just as an example.

The Bar Harbor Historical Society (not the most astute preservationists of material heritage) moved to a huge mansion on a waterfront lot. They charge a hefty entrance fee. And the movers and shakers trade in social cache on their association. They should pay taxes.

And then the churches. The Roman Catholic Church has been instrumental in breaking down the constitutional barrier between church and state. OK that should mean they now should pay taxes.

Yacht Club? Seriously?

Birch Bay? Have you looked at their fees?

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I hate to be the bearer of bad news Bar Harbor but you ain't seen nothing yet! Back when I was still running my custom boat tours I had a middle aged couple aboard and we discussed the majors their two kids were pursuing in college. The son was working on a degree in law and the daughter was working on degree in "non profits". I thought they were joking about the daughter and laughed. The husband seemed upset by my laughter and blurted out "Nonprofits are the wave of the future in America!" To which I replied, "When nonprofits become the wave of our future our future is not looking bright!" Back when I was still running the Coastal Maine Bald Eagle Project I funded my activities by working for 18 years as a stock clerk at Don's Shop 'n Save. When folks urged me to become a nonprofit I checked out the potential of doing so. Having ordered a copy of the 800 page Environmental Grant Index I spent hours pouring over the hundreds of corporate grants being offered to nonprofit environmental groups. Didn't take long to figure out the whole thing is nothing more than a tax scam. Corporation after corporation clearly indicated that they wanted nothing to do with any group actually trying to accomplish anything.. "Advocacy" was in their opinion a swear word. Groups they supported were engaged in such cutting edge environmental work as building walking paths in downtown Freeport. At least partly due to the presence of COA Mount Desert Island has the crosshairs of non profits right smack in the middle of its forehead. Lovely scenery, great places to hike, bike, and boat, relatively cheap housing and real estate (compared to where they come from) and lots of folks who think "Nonprofits are the wave of the American Future!" Good luck Bar Harbor!

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Thank you, Shaun. Very interesting information. No wonder the businesses and family's tax burden is so high. Very difficult for residents and businesses. The State should allow a special portion of the revenue generated from all the tourists to come back to the town like Massachusetts and other states. Towns on Cape Cod for example have a 1 percent tax that comes back to the local communities. I am not a fan of more taxes for sure; I am more a fan of so called "Non-Profits" having some of the burden and making a more "In-Kind" donation back to the town. An 11 percent increase in property taxes for the residents and businesses is not-acceptable in this Inflationary climate; it won't be just the banks going under.

Perhaps also consider publishing (which is town public record should be the people and businesses that pay taxes, the amount, and the expected 2024 amount if budget passes. People have no idea I suspect of the amount of money residents and businesses pay...all the while a contingent of people want to eliminate the potential "extension of the season" by eliminating cruise ships who by the way contribute nearly 2 million in tax revenue, not to mention the businesses (who by the way pay huge taxes) are losing the potential of sales revenue for the pre and post season visitors.

I hope that the MDI Islander and Ellsworth American will publish this recent article that might enlighten residents and voters.

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